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Ropes & Gray Chicago Hosts Inaugural “Legal Bootcamp” in Partnership with BUILD

Tags: Pro Bono

Throughout July 2021, Ropes & Gray’s Chicago Office hosted a “Legal Bootcamp” in partnership with BUILD, (Broader Urban Involvement & Leadership Development) one of Chicago's leading gang intervention, violence prevention, and youth development organizations.

Five high school and college-age students, with no prior exposure to the legal industry, participated in this unique pilot program over three weeks. Ropes & Gray’s Chicago attorneys devised and led an innovative curriculum with multiple components. The program was designed to highlight a variety of professions in the legal industry, from attorneys to judges, and commercial support professions.

The curriculum included:

  • A Corporate Legal Clinic, that included sessions on Meeting the Client and Negotiating a Lease;
  • A Speaker Series that included a presentation from First Defense Legal Aid, a discussion with Ropes’ Director & Pro Bono Counsel and some of our client partners regarding the importance of pro bono service, and a Lightning Round with Legal Professionals;
  • A field trip to the Everett McKinley Dirksen United States Courthouse, that included a meeting with Judge Sara L. Ellis of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois;
  • A Preliminary Injunction Hearing Workshop, which encompassed an introduction to brief writing and hearing preparation, and culminated in a mock hearing that concluded the program.

“Launching our inaugural Legal Bootcamp, together with BUILD, has been a highlight for our Chicago office over this summer,” said Ropes & Gray litigation and enforcement partner Tim Farrell, who spearheaded the program. “We hope that by giving students who otherwise would not have access to or a background in the legal industry a front row seat at a corporate law firm, we’re advancing our mission of inclusion while hopefully the students are getting a broader perspective of the world of possibilities that lie ahead for them,” continued Tim.

“A hallmark of Ropes & Gray Chicago has always been our commitment to the Chicago community,” said office managing partner Paulita Pike. “This dedication is evident by the extensive efforts from our Chicago office family in launching the Legal Bootcamp. We’re thrilled at the positive responses we’ve received from the students and BUILD, and I’m proud of my colleagues.”

In addition to Tim, other members of the Chicago office that planned and executed the event included litigation & enforcement associates Deanna Foster, Philip Ehrlich, Annie Monjar, Annemarie Smith-Morris, Jack Wolf, Krista Evensen, asset management associate Elizabeth Madsen, Tim Parrington, private capital transactions associate Raxit Shah, paralegal Nate Wolack, Chicago summer associates Kris Kenn, Phil Paradise, Divya Gulati, Megan Lenz, and Kathy Jara, legal services manager Mikeisha Walker, events specialist Chris Larsen, and legal executive assistant Ana Gomez. Ropes & Gray alumni Sarah Kimmer also assisted with coordinating the field trip to the Everett McKinley Dirksen United States Courthouse, and meeting Judge Ellis.

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